Case file: Sims, Charlotte A.

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Case file: Sims, Charlotte A.

Postby cyberbard » Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:35 pm

This is something I wrote up a few days ago as a mental exercise, and though I would share for anyone who might be interested.

That being said...


Case file

Sims, Charlotte A.

Race/sex: Caucasian female
Age: 17
Occupation: Student, junior at Belleville Academy.

Miss Sims and I had our first session today, and it was both fascinating and frustrating. Miss Sims is clearly a troubled young woman, and her coming here is certainly warranted. But I’ll quickly point out that she will be a difficult patient. This young woman has an uncanny ability to deflect, redirect, manipulate, or otherwise avoid inquiries of a personal nature. I can think of several situations that could foster such a skill, and many of those are very difficult to think about. This combined with a general mistrust of perceived authority figures made communication difficult. It took some time to get her to speak about much of anything.

Charlotte is highly contradictory. She has a very measured and controlled poise and voice, while her posture and behavior are of text book perfection. But, this fails to hide an almost palpable rage in her overall presentation. And depending on the topic being discussed, this rage subtly slips into her voice. Her academic record is very good, but her other records are less impressive. I’m referring to her ability to interact with other students and faculty. She has a history of being verbally combative without being overly confrontational, and of being highly vindictive to fellow students who she feels have wronged her.

Another thing to note is her dress. She tends to dress in highly conservative clothes which look almost anachronistic on a modern-day teen. When she entered my office she was wearing an expertly pleated Pendleton skirt, a basic white shirt and an Oxford-style sweater vest. She looked more like a church official than a high school student. And that brings me to my next observation. She was wearing an elaborate Crucifix necklace, with matching earrings and cuff studs (!). I asked her about the impressive intaglio work on the necklace, hoping to start a conversation. She stated that the Crucifix belonged to her grandmother, and that she wore it as a constant reminder of the presence of Almighty God. This struck me as a rehearsed response, so I attempted to discuss religion further.

I see nothing inherently wrong with a modern teen having a strong religious faith, especially given how chaotic the world can be for people of that age. But Charlotte’s view of religion seems somewhat skewed, and not in a healthy way. She spoke with reverence of God and her church, but at the same time there was an underlying impression of guilt and fear, mostly aimed at her self. I found this alarming, but I wasn’t able to get her to speak on the matter. She stated, plainly, that she wanted to talk about something else. Looking back on the session, I believe that at one time Charlotte’s family was involved with one of the more conservative branches of the Southern Baptist church, but I strongly suspect that they now belong to a fundamentalist denomination. I must stress the issue of religion with this young woman, because it appears to be a dominant influence in almost all facets of her life. At the very least, she is using her religion as a protective measure against anything she would rather not discuss. In future sessions, it will be necessary to discuss her religious history, though I must approach the topic with caution.

Academically, Charlotte is a superior student, with consistently high grades in English, art, music, and mathematics. She admits to being uncomfortable with the social sciences and history, though her grades in those areas are quite acceptable. She also admits to having “no aptitude” for the biological sciences. One of the few times she laughed during our session was when she recounted a mishap with a Bunsen burner and a misplaced graduated cylinder. This anxiety doesn’t seem to apply to the physical sciences; she mentioned finding geology and physics “very interesting.”

Her greatest interest appears to be English and writing. She is very well read, and can reference books and essays that I hadn’t heard of until my college years. Of even greater note is her writing ability. She has written several essays and poems (of which I saw a sample), all of which show a superior writing skill. When I asked her why she hadn’t had any of them printed in her school’s literary journal, she wouldn’t provide a clear answer.

Near the end of our session, we finally discussed some of the recent events in her life that prompted her coming here. She admitted to being involved in a smear campaign against two of her classmates, one of whom she claims is homosexual. Charlotte didn’t say precisely what she did, and she was careful not to say anything specific. But her reactions suggest that whatever she did it was highly damaging to at least one of the other girls, and Charlotte is only now starting to realize the severity of her actions. I am pretty sure that she played a greater role in this campaign than she was prepared to admit. Naturally, this will require further discussion.

She also mentioned being attracted to a fellow student, who she says is Muslim. His religion is apparently troubling her greatly, though she says she is trying to be accepting, within reason. It would appear that the fundamentalist faith she practices is largely intolerant of Islam. The difference between what she was brought up to believe, and the behavior this young man is portraying has become a source of great anxiety for her. Note that the anxiety doesn’t appear to come from her association with the young man, but with how his behavior differs from what her religion expects from a practicing Muslim. She now appears to be questioning just about everything her religion has taught her, and given how important her religion is to her, this is understandably causing her considerable angst.

Our next session is scheduled for next week. I will most likely start by discussing the smear campaign she mentioned. I believe that this particular issue can be separated from the other issues in her life. If she is willing to discuss this, then we can move on to other topics in the future.

Dr. Gerald Carson, school counselor.


Anyone care to make a consultation, based on the transcript? :lol:
Last edited by cyberbard on Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby MeganKoumori » Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:33 pm

Her last name is Sims.
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Postby cyberbard » Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:39 am

MeganKoumori wrote:Her last name is Sims.

Thanks! Edited accordingly.
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